Woman talking(l+r), Rental contract(c)

Pormezz/Shutterstock @alexakosior/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I don’t even have a couch’: Tenant gets notice rent is going up. She can’t believe how much landlord is asking for a studio

‘Chicago is on literal crack right now.’


Phil West


A Chicago resident in a studio apartment is incensed by the rent increase her landlord is imposing—but she might be living in the “wrong” part of town, based on what other city dwellers are saying.

The video sounding alarm comes from TikToker Alexa Kosior (@alexakosior), who got more than 409,000 views and 21,700 likes as of this writing for her Saturday post. The video leads with an on-screen caption reading, “THE BIGGEST SCAM IN CHICAGO,” and then Kosior explains what that is and how it affects her.

She starts by declaring, “Chicago is on literal crack right now because this is my apartment, guys,” she says while showing off her modest studio apartment. “This is it. Nothing special. It’s small. It’s a studio. I don’t have a living room, and I just got the email telling me that my rent was increased to $1,850.”

“This is the apartment,” she continues, giving a tour. “Table, like my kitchen area, like, there’s no counter space if you can tell. There’s no dishwasher. This is how small my bedroom is. I don’t even have a couch or anything. I have like a little catch-all area right here that I can barely fit anything. And this is my bathroom. You guys, what in the hell.”

She continues, “I don’t know how I’m gonna afford living in Chicago anymore because I’ll tell you right now that for a girl who has been in the industry for two-and-a-half years, I can’t afford an $1,800 apartment.”

@alexakosior Looks like Im moving!!!😂😭 #chicago #chicagotiktok #chicagocheck #chicagowest #chicagoapartment #chicagoapartments #apartment #scam #fyp #viral #foryou ♬ original sound – Alexa Kosior

Kosior’s Instagram account identifies her as a “digital creator,” and her LinkedIn lists her as the Social Media Marketing Manager at ShoutOut, “a community-centric influencer marketing company born with local businesses in mind.” She may be experiencing the rent hikes that are currently affecting many Chicagoans.

According to Axios, “In the Chicago metro, rent was up for mid- and higher-end apartments at the end of 2023, according to real estate firm CoStar Group, which rates buildings based on design, amenities, location and certifications.” The article shows that middle-tier apartments were up 4.1 percent between the fourth quarters of 2022 and 2023, with luxury apartments up 1.9 percent in the same time frame. It also assesses that “Many Chicagoans are unlikely to catch a break on rent this year.”

However, a dialogue with various commenters revealed that she’s living in a more expensive neighborhood. While commenters guessed she lived in either the Chicago Loop or Lincoln Park, the TikToker alluded to her apartment being part of the Flats group, which manages apartments in various tony Chicago neighborhoods.

One commenter offered, “Is this a flats apartment?? lmaaoaooo HATE flats!!”

“SAME,” Kosior replied.

Other viewers shared cheaper rents they were paying for bigger apartments, with one named Beth Fischer saying, “I instantly knew this was a flats. Chicago has so many better deals, high rise or not. Personally, I pay $1300 in bucktown for a 2 bed inclusive of my own w/d, parking spot, central air etc.” Fischer went on to say it was a Craigslist find and “not even the best apartment steal I’ve had.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Kosior via TikTok direct message and email and to the Flats via website form.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

The Daily Dot